Mercy Hospital in Portland, part of the Northern Light Health network, is seen in December 2021. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer, file

Maine health care network Northern Light Health discovered over the weekend that several computer servers in its system had been compromised, though it said no patient information was at risk.

In a news release, Northern Light said it made the discovery Saturday afternoon and notified state and federal authorities.

“While none of the affected servers contain patient information, we made the decision to take our patient records systems offline and use downtime procedures during investigation of this incident and any needed repairs,” Northern Light Health said in its release.

“Patient care is not affected by this downtime and all Northern Light Health hospitals remain open,” the release continues. “All Northern Light Health facilities and staff train for network downtime to ensure patient care is not interrupted by system outages.”

Suzanne Spruce, senior vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for Northern Light Health, told News Center Maine that implementing downtime procedures simply means the network switched from using digital records to print records.

The Northern Light Health network includes 10 hospitals stretching from Portland to Presque Isle and from Blue Hill to Greenville, according to its website. Mercy Hospital on the Fore River Parkway in Portland is part of the health care network, as are Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and multiple rural hospitals in northern Maine.


Spruce told News Center Maine that a “matter of hours” passed from the discovery that servers had been compromised to when downtime mode was activated.

“We made the decision to take all sensitive information systems offline ourselves, including our electronic health record, out of an abundance of caution while this incident is investigated,” Northern Light Health said in its statement.

When contacted Sunday night, Spruce said she could not estimate how long the patient records system would be kept offline. She also said “there have been no demands or threats” from whoever who hacked into the computer servers.

Northern Light Health did not elaborate on the type of information that may have been targeted. Spruce said freezing digital records affected all 10 of its hospitals across Maine.

Spruce, in an email late Sunday, said information technology teams worked around the clock over the weekend and conducted a thorough review of Northern Light servers. The review was set to continue Sunday night into Monday, with the expectation that electronic medical records would be back online at some point Monday.

“This is a big job and our focus as always is patient safety and privacy,” Spruce wrote.

Northern Light Health is advising patients that, unless they have been contacted directly, any appointments that previously scheduled for Monday have not changed. But the system cautioned that call volumes Monday are expected to be higher than normal, so reaching the hospital by phone may be more difficult than usual.

Updates on the situation can be found on the system’s website at Northern Light said information will continue to be shared there until all systems have been restored.

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